February 2, 2009

I'm a Sucker For You: A Kids' Valentine's Day Party

Valentine's Day happily falls on a Saturday this year, providing us with a unique opportunity for a full-day love fest. But before you go on a date with your honey, consider hosting a sweet, lollipop-themed party for your little darlings and their friends. Your children will love the chance to celebrate, and their friends' parents will be incredibly grateful for the sacred gift of alone time.

To get started, send this unique invitation from FineStationery.com to the friends and classmates of your little ones. Personalize the invitation so that it reads:

We're a sucker for you!
Please join us for a
Valentine's Day Party
on February 14 at 2:00 p.m.
at Sara's House.

Before the children arrive, set up a craft table with white baskets full of pink and red paper, markers, crayons, glitter, glue and scissors. These baskets from Pottery Barn Kids come with a cute heart-themed liner.

When the guests arrive, allow each child to craft a surprise valentine for their parents. Be sure to provide smocks to prevent clothing from being ruined with glitter and glue.

While the children allow their valentines to dry, have them move to a second room in which they will play the popular board game Candy Land. You may need to set up 2 - 3 tables depending on the number of children at the party.

The candy land game should take a decent amount of time, so you'll have the opportunity to discreetly move a lollipop carnival-style game to a table beside the door.

To make the game, fashion a large piece of styrafoam into a heart shape and paint it pink or red. Then, push the sticks of these gorgeous lollipops from Hammond's Candy into the styrafoam so that they are sticking out perpendicular to the heart. Be sure to mark the bottom of a few of the lollipops with a black sharpie marker before pushing them in.

Before each child leaves your valentine bash, have him or her select a lollipop from the heart. If the lollipop has a black mark on the bottom, that child receives a special prize of your choosing. If they do not find a black mark, they will at least leave with a yummy treat for later.